Often and Openly: the art of difficult conversations

I recently listened to a podcast interview where it was mentioned a concept called "Often and Openly". This concept is in regard to the conversations we have in the communities and organizations we live in. There are certain topics which need to be discussed often and openly or they will remain large detriments to the communities and organizations we live in. 

Think of talking about sex with your kids. Think about talking about race with your church or organization. Think of speaking about justice and conflict. When we speak often and openly about these things, it does a few things for your family, your church, your organization and communities.

1. It makes it less awkward. 
The more often and openly you talk about these things, the stigma is taken away. There is a comfort around otherwise difficult, but important, conversations. These conversations are difficult, because they are weighted in just how vital they really are to the spaces we live in. 

2. It builds intimacy, relationship, growth and family.
The more openly and often you speak about these things that are otherwise avoided, the closer you get to the people with whom you discuss. There is growth that happens in the space where you choose to go together. When you avoid these conversations, the topics grow stronger, but you don't.

3. You learn to ask better questions and listen.
It just may be that you are not as smart as you think you are, and the truth is, you actually aren't. Neither am I. When I speak more often and openly about topics, I can come with a posture that says, "I don't know what I don't know. Help me see the things I am missing." Instead of dictating the conversation, come prepared more questions than statements, and you will see incredible things happen.

I suck at this.

PC Walker

Speaker.Author.Poet, whatever comes through the cracks is all grace.